74,000 people used website to find their political party match

29 May 2024 - 09:00
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The Yoh Vote website helps you find your political perfect match.
The Yoh Vote website helps you find your political perfect match.
Image: Modiegi Mashamaite

About 74,000 people used a website to find a party that represents some of their political and economic ideologies for which they could vote in today's elections.

Yoh Vote, a South African application and website founded in August 2023, provides comprehensive information about political parties, making it easier for users to understand what each party stands for and how they plan to address key issues facing the country. Essentially the platform helps users find their political match, making the process of choosing a party fun and informative.

One of the founders, Yeshav Sewlal, spoke to TimesLIVE about why they started the website. Sewlal founded the platform with Ryan Young, Nthatisi Mota, Daniel Klopper, Shannon Stodel and Santhea Sinivasan.

“Politics can be so boring and overwhelming. It’s like jumping into a soap opera at season 26. We wanted to create something that was easy to use and engaging for the youth. We said the dichotomy of politics and dating apps were quite funny. The apps are very simple to use and we wanted to transcend that to our website to make it the perfect springboard,” he said.

Yoh Vote operates by asking users thought-provoking questions designed to uncover their values and ideals.

Questions range from “when it comes to the relationship between the government and the private sector, which approach do you feel will best improve our economy?” to “what kind of leader aligns more with your principles?”.

Based on the answers provided, users are matched with a political party that best aligns with their views.

Once matched, users can click “Go on a date” to delve deeper into the party's policies, values and candidate profiles.

“The party you are paired with is merely a suggestion. The website aligns you purely based on their (publicly available) manifestos. We encourage people to do their own research and use Yoh Vote as a springboard,” Sewlal said. 

According to Sewlal, since the launch of the website it has recorded 105,800 site visits and 73,500 quiz completions. 

Many young South Africans took to social media to talk about using Yoh Vote to discover their political match in the run-up to the 2024 elections.

“We had our first truly viral moment in October when someone tweeted about the site. It was quite interesting to see the reception, with some users questioning whether we were a bot created by a political party with a specific agenda or whether we were the latest development in all the AI happenings,” said Sewlal.

Beyond matching users with political parties, Yoh Vote also offers information about the voting process.

Sections dedicated to explaining the importance of voting, how to register, what to bring on voting day and what to expect at the polling station are easily accessible.

“From the beginning, as a team, we wanted to ensure we created a positive user experience and not necessarily interfere with the general response to it. Through that more observant stance, we have been able to see that to a greater extent, people have responded quite warmly to Yoh Vote.” Sewlal said.

He said the group created the website to widen the pool of voter education.

“We are living in exciting and somewhat daunting times as South African youth. That’s why it’s particularly pertinent that we keep each other accountable regarding our political literacy.

“It’s OK to feel overwhelmed. We were/are too. But it is that feeling that drove us to create Yoh Vote. We truly believe the best vote is an informed vote.

“While we cannot tell you who to vote for (nor would we want to), we want to be part of the process of you becoming a confident and well-informed voter.”


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